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The Lettuce Robot Has Arrived

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Touch the Soil News # 132 The most labor intensive crop is lettuce. One of the most labor intensive tasks in lettuce farming is thinning the lettuce plants early in the season. Once the lettuce takes stand, thinning gives the remaining lettuce plants room to grow and mature to market-size lettuce heads. Advanced Lettuce-thinning Robot Entrepreneur Jorge Heraud, from Salinas Valley in California founded Blue River Technology. The company invented what they call the LettuceBot. The LettuceBot can thin lettuce plants automatically and without labor. Consider that at the present, it takes about 50 farm laborers two days to thin a 15-acre lettuce field. The LettuceBot, using cutting edge robots,…

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Is the Time Coming to Think Big?

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Touch the Soil News # 129 We’ve all seen news of drought stricken third world countries. Heck, over 2 billion people today lack access to sufficient water for even personal and drinking water needs. In the U.S., pumping technology has afforded present generations the opportunity to side-step severe water shortages, for now. Hidden below the surface pumps are underground water aquifers that are dropping faster than they are recharging. California is in a fight for its life, The combination of drought and over-pumping have brought water austerity to one of the most economically developed regions in the world. And California is not alone. Ogallala Aquifer located in the central part…

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What is Your Water IQ? (Part 2of 2)

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Touch the Soil News #112 –– includes 1 video and 1 info graphic The following Info Graphic #1 illustrates the number of gallons of water needed to produce 1 lb. of 13 popular foods. You’ll find the answers here to the water IQ questions posed in Part I of this series. This info graphic explains simply why there is growing awareness and activism to turn the corner from eating more beef to eating less beef. It also explains growing interest in animal protein that consumes less water and much less feed – i.e. cricket protein or tilapia protein. The human race is placing more focus on water desalination – taking…

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What is Your Water IQ? (Part 1 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News #111 –– includes 1 video The Institute of Food Technologies (www.ift.org) recently published research on global and individual water use. It provides a self-view of our lives through water use and availability. At the core of water use is agriculture, using 70 percent of all water use. To this we must add water use in processing, transportation and retailing. Over the next few years, all the foods we eat will come under the water microscope. The questions will be simple – How water intensive is a particular food? How much water is available in the area a particular food grows best in? How much of a…

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